Friday, July 27, 2007

Iraqis don't want what we build for them

While the Administration likes to boast about the number of civilian rebuilding projects completed in Iraq such schools, power plants and hospitals, the Iraqis trash them soon after taking over because they don't know how to operate them. The national government is non-functional and won't take these projects over upon completion. The locals just trash them.

From the NYTs,
Iraq’s national government is refusing to take possession of thousands of American-financed reconstruction projects, forcing the United States either to hand them over to local Iraqis, who often lack the proper training and resources to keep the projects running, or commit new money to an effort that has already consumed billions of taxpayer dollars.

The conclusions, detailed in a report released Friday by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a federal oversight agency, include the finding that of 2,797 completed projects costing $5.8 billion, Iraq’s national government had, by the spring of this year, accepted only 435 projects valued at $501 million. Few transfers to Iraqi national government control have taken place since the current Iraqi government, which is frequently criticized for inaction on matters relating to the American intervention, took office in 2006.
On example cited by The Times was the Dora Power Plant where large power generating turbines were overhauled at a cost of $90 million to bring desperately needed power to Baghdad. The turbines were handed over to people who didn't know how to operate them and they were promptly loaded with the wrong fuel and wrecked.

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